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About ibmonitor

ibmonitor is an interactive linux console application which shows
bandwidth consumed and total data transferred on all interfaces.

Its main features are:
  • Shows received, transmitted and total bandwidth of each interface
  • Calculates and displays the combined value of all interfaces
  • Diplays total data transferred per interface in KB/MB/GB
  • Values can be displayed in Kbits/sec(Kbps) and/or KBytes/sec(KBps)
  • Can show maximum bandwidth consumed on each interface since start of utility
  • Can show average bandwidth consumption on each interface since start of utility
  • The output with all features (max, avg and display in Kbps and KBps) easily fits on a 80x24 console or xterm
  • Can interactively change its output display format depending on key pressed by user.

This project is different from existing similar utilities in that it can
show the values in Kbits/sec (Kbps) and Kbytes/sec (KBps) simultaneously.
It also displays the total data transferred in KB/MB/GB dynamically shifting the unit to adjust available field width
Also command line switches are available which allow to choose whether to display
maximum and average bandwidth.

ibmonitor responds to certain key presses while running and can dynamically
change its output display format.

  • keypress m       --     Toggle view/hide max of all interfaces
Read the usage section below for more information about keystrokes available
and their outcome.

Future plans include to make it display dynamic multi-colored graphs
per interface using svgalib, and also make it respond to signals
so that it can communicate its values to other programs which would need such data.

As an example, envision the following scenario:
  1. A web CGI script sends a signal to the ibmonitor process via IPC.
  2. The ibmonitor process then communicates its data to the signalling process.
  3. This data is sent to the signalling process via some predefined method of communication.
  4. The CGI script then interprets this data and outputs a nicely formatted HTML page.
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ibmonitor is written in the Perl programming language.
Visit to learn more about this wonderful language.

The ibmonitor perl script makes use of the perl modules Term::ReadKey, Term::ANSIColor and Time::HiRes
While Term::ANSIColor is available with most distributions of perl (and Linux), you can download
Term::ReadKey and Time::HiRes from
Download Term::ReadKey
Download Time::HiRes

Currently, this utility will only run on linux distros which support the /proc filesystem,
due to the fact that ibmonitor reads the file /proc/net/dev for the byte counter values.

I will try to list all possible OSs here with the /proc file which should get ibmonitor running on your system.
Any help regarding this would be much appreciated.
Contact me at - arcofdescent at

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Just copy the perl script named ibmonitor into any directory which is
in your path. A good place would be /usr/bin/ibmonitor

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ibmonitor is a command line program which will run
on a linux console or xterm (rxvt, konsole, gnome-terminal, etc)

usage: ibmonitor [ --bits ] [ --bytes ] [ --max ] [ --avg ] [ --interval n ] [--data]
                         [ --colors | --nocolors ] [--dev regex] [--file procfile]
                         [ --help ] [--version]

The following command line options (and their explanation) are available:

--bits Show output values in KBits/sec. This is the default
--bytes Show output values in KBytes/sec
--max Show maximum values per interface
--avg Show average values per interface
--interval n
Set time interval as n seconds. The default is 2 seconds
--data Show data transferred in KB/MB/GB
--colors Show some fancy coloring! (This is the default)
--nocolors No fancy coloring please!
--dev regex
Show output from device matching regex
--file proc
Specify which file to use in the proc filesystem
for the interface byte counter
--help Show help and exit
--version Show version number and exit

While running, ibmonitor can read the input key from the user
and dynamically change its output display format depending on the key

The following keys are supported. Note that ibmonitor responds immediately
to the single keystroke. ie. The 'Enter' key need not be pressed

1 - 9
Set sleep time interval (in seconds) to the digit entered
m Toggle display of [m]ax bandwidth
Toggle display of [a]verage bandwidth
Toggle display of values in KB[i]ts/sec (Kbps)
Toggle display of values in KB[y]tes/sec (KBps)
Toggle display of [d]ata transferred
Shift interface up/down.
This should be followed by the interface number,
and then the direction (u or d)
[R]eset all values
? / h
Help screen for interactive commands

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Copyright (C) 2004 Rohan Romanus Almeida
This site and project are hosted by the good folks at